Home Video Picks & Passes 01.07.18

True space survival classic tops the list.

Apollo 13
Apollo 13 (photo: Imagine Entertainment)

Apollo 13 (1995) — PICK

Batman Begins (2005) — PICK

Strictly Ballroom (1992) — PICK

Three terrific movies are new on Netflix this month.

The movie that turned “Houston, we have a problem” from a familiar historical reference into one of the top quotations of all time, Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 — an ode to brave and brilliant men keeping calm in a catastrophic situation, calculating outer-space trajectories on the fly with pencils and slide rules — is all the more thrilling for its restraint and low-key tone.

Like many critics, I thought Christopher Nolan’s Batman sequel The Dark Knight outdid its predecessor, but now that the trilogy is complete, I find that Batman Begins is my favorite of the three, as well as the best superhero origin story of all time.

Compulsively watchable, at once grandly romantic and wickedly mocking, Baz Luhrman’s Strictly Ballroom grabs viewers by the lapels, hammers them with in-your-face satiric humor, and then mysteriously woos them with a delightful love story and an irresistible tale of old wrongs righted.


Caveat Spectator: Apollo 13: Some cursing and a crude term; brief clinical bathroom content, brief innuendo and a sexual reference. Older kids and up. Batman Begins: Much action violence and frightening imagery; a scene of strong-arm interrogation tactics; an instance of profanity, some cursing and crass language. Teens and up. Strictly Ballroom: Some suggestive humor; mild crude humor, comic drunkenness; several instances of profanity. Teens and up.